By Alex Uangbaoje, Sokoto
Following the reports that the outbreak of Meningitis in North-west Nigeria is caused by sin and witchcraft, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has dismissed the idea that the disease is caused by sin or witchcraft and called on residents of Sokoto State not to listen to such superstitious belief.
He made the call at a one day sensitisation meeting for stakeholders, organised by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the State Ministry of Health, as part of activities to the take-off of meningitis vaccination campaign in the State.
” I don’t believe in witchcraft; the only witchcraft there is is malaria and meningitis. We have been sensitising our people not to listen to any of superstitions.” he advised.
Represented, by District Head of Shuni and member of the Sultanate Council, Alhaji Muhammadu Jabbi, the Sultan, explained that what is important is for people to take precautionary measures and ensure that when someone falls ill in their area they quickly rush the person to the nearest healthcare centre.
”The Sultan is fully involved in the sensitization activities and is doing everything to ensure that the message gets to everyone in the communities.
“Because this is an emergency that requires everybody’s attention to stop it. The people need to imbibe proper hygiene to guide against such outbreak.
“The sultanate have a health committee that assist in tackling any health challenge not only for Meningitis outbreak but any health concerns and they will not relent until this menace is curbed. He noted.
Pastor Adedeji Tade, Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Sokoto State Chapter on his part, assured that the church is taking advantage of the interventions by UNICEF and the State government to tame the tide of the plague.
“It is an unfortunate situation, as a church organisation, the best we are doing is to continue to sensitize our people. We are also here to know what the government is doing about it.
“Our sensitisation has always encouraged them to take the immunisation vaccination at all levels, within and outside the state wherever they found themselves.” He added.